What’s your favorite book? Join The Great American Read

May 23, 2018

PBS Television kicked off The Great American Read Tuesday evening.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it was also launched locally and you can participate.   

Inside the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, downtown Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“Everyone has a favorite. Charlotte’s Web…” stated in a PBS video on the initiative.

The Great American Read button.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

PBS created The Great American Read to jump start a national conversation about reading and the books that inspire people.

Now you have a chance to vote on your favorite.  A list of 100 best-loved books ranging from classics to newer published books has been created from a national survey. 

A variety of books of books lined a wall inside downtown's Central Library for a local launch of The Great American Read. Those attending had a chance to select a favorite book for photo.  Some scooped up the classics like To Kill a Mockingbird or more recent books, The Shack, published in 2007 by Canadian author William Young.

“I like The Shack,” declared Sandra Courtney, as she reviewed the books. 

Courtney is works at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. She shared her story of why this book was so meaningful. 

Sandra Courtney works at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. She showed her favorite book The Shack.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“It deals with that unconscious hurt and how you deal with it. We’ve all gone through something painful and we think we’re handling it correctly and I like what the book does and the way that the author writes about the characters in the book. It’s so very non-traditional – God was a black woman, Jesus looked very different – the Holy Spirit was a woman,” Courtney explained.

Courtney said The Great American Read will inspire people to read and enjoy books whether an old fashion hard copy or new digital style. 

“You know – what is important is that you read, even if it is written in a digital format – it is the message that’s really important,” Courtney remarked.

“I think that everybody has their favorites and this collection of 100 books really just gives everybody the opportunity to pull out one of their favorites – if not find a hard time selecting one of their favorites – it’s such a great list,” noted Jeannie Doyle, deputy director, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library,

WNED/WBFO CEO Don Boswell, Jeannie Doyle, deputy director, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, kicked of the event with partners, Just Buffalo and Talking Leaves.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Koteras Elibol

Doyle tells WBFO News she has no idea what book will win, but has her favorite.

“Oh, I really don’t know. I mentioned in my presentation The Great Gatsby, which is my personal favorite and it also, of course, has the Buffalo connection with F. Scott Fitzgerald growing up in Buffalo and we know here in Western New York that people always like to find a Western New York connection,” replied Doyle.

Doyle joined WNED/WBFO CEO Don Boswell Tuesday in kicking of the event with partners, Just Buffalo and Talking Leaves. This summer you can share your story about reading in a video recording at the Central Library.  

Launch of event at Central Library.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Koteras Elibol

“Once these are actually tapped – the real hope is that some of them will, of course, air locally in our market, but our hope is that there will be a national sort of opportunity for some of those video tapes to air on the national series itself, so being the home of Reading Rainbow – in our community, I’m just hoping that a lot of you will participate. We want to represent Buffalo, Western New York and Southern Ontario,” stated Boswell.

You can vote for a favorite book at wned.org or on Facebook and Instagram, using the hash tag #GreatReadPBS and join the Great Read.